The Russia-Georgia conflict is a watershed for a new era in geopolitics. The crisis has spawned a series of new responses which will affect the international order for years to come. As America scrambles to react to the crisis, Russia will continue to challenge Western influence in the former Soviet space and U.S. dominance in the world order. In Newsweek, Dmitri Trenin identifies the heavily Russian populated Ukrainian region, Crimea, as a future key battleground. Additionally, the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia will also likely not be resolved quickly and thus will too pose a challenge in the near future.
In turn, both nations will turn to Europe, and Europe’s ability to define and defend its interests and principles will be the most severe test yet for the Union. All the while, China, Iran and others watch with keen interest.